Africa Night student powerpoint on DUMA

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Frisch Sophomore Africa Encounter Shira and Corey "For the poor shall never cease out of the land; therefore I command thee, saying: 'Thou shalt surely open thy hand unto thy poor and needy brother, in thy land." -Deuteronomy 15:11

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Our Project We interviewed Arielle Sandor, a Frisch alumna who lives in Kenya and works for a company called DUMA. In its own words, DUMA uses basic cell phone technology and social networking to automatically connect employers to qualified employees whom they can trust.

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Who is Arielle Sandor? Arielle attended The Frisch School and graduated in 2008. She went on to study in Princeton and graduated with the class of 2012. Arielle moved to Kenya after she graduated college and is currently the Co- Founder of a company called DUMA.

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Why Arielle Moved to Kenya Arielle was doing research about the educational potential of theater and visited Kenya to get information, while writing her senior thesis at Princeton. While visiting Kenya, she noticed a major unemployment problem and fell in love with Africa. She decided that after college she would do something "fun."

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DUMA's Beginnings Arielle was talking with her friend Christine about some problems like unemployment they experienced in Kenya. They realized that everyone had cell phones, so they decided to create a cell-phone based social job network. They entered business competitions at Princeton and won enough money to move to Kenya.

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How DUMA Works When an employer has a job opening, s/he sends a text message to DUMA specifying the position. DUMA then finds employees with the closest matching job skills and contacts, and then sends them a text message notification about the job opening. DUMA aims to empower members of the community with a sense of dignity and moral significance. -DUMAworks.com

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What Exactly Does Arielle Do? Co-founder of an early stage company with a staff of about 6, so she wears a lot of hats. Focuses on creative and marketing side of DUMA- writing press releases, designing the logo, strategizing which sectors to target, creating relationships with local business owners, helping design the website. Works with Christine to plan logistics, talk to investors, hire employees, etc.

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Facebook initiative DUMA's Facebook profile, "DUMA Kazi Pap," posts helpful interview and job tips as well as helpful information for those seeking help finding a job.

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Straight from DUMA's Facebook page

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Success Unemployment is very high in Kenya, so people are desperate for jobs and stay in the DUMA system. DUMA has already begun to build the workforce necessary for their endeavor.

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Cultural Differences in Africa Different perceptions about things we take for granted. Most people believe in witches in curses. People say- you don't need therapy, you only need Jesus. Church services- two pastors shout into a microphone, one in English, one in Kiswahili, and the people respond. Staple food: Ugali- like grits, but more sticky, eaten with other food.

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Culture Differences (contd.) 5. Everyone is very optimistic. Arielle cannot even number how many people have expressed confidence in DUMA. 6. People carry themselves with a lot of dignity. Insult someone's dignity and you WILL get shouted at; no one turns a blind eye. 7. Body image is not a priority or fear. Everyone is less self-conscious in Kenya.

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Personal Struggles Major difficulty: coming to Kenya with a language barrier Kiswahili is coming along nicely, but she still has to tackle tribal languages.

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Typical African Experience? Arielle has not witnessed much of the typical African experience portrayed in American media. Practically all Kenyans think Americans live in a Hollywood movie. Kenya is great- Nairobi is a modern city, and Nakuru is catching up- growing every day. Kenya has mass transit, sports clubs, bars, restaurants, hotels, and the beautiful Lake Nakuru National Park.

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How Long Will She Stay? Arielle is committed at least for more than the next year. She really likes it in Kenya but does not know how long she will stay, but the plan is to eventually expand DUMA to other countries so she may have to relocate.

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Keeping Judaism in Africa It is very difficult to be a Jew living in a place where there is no one else that is Jewish. However, the environment in Kenya is very spiritual and religious, which helps remind Arielle of her Judaism every day.

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Jewish Obligation to the Stranger "The greatest level [of charity], above which there is no other, is to strengthen the name of another by.. finding him a job in order to strengthen his hand until he needs no longer [beg from] people. For it is said, "You shall strengthen the stranger and the dweller in your midst and live with him," {Leviticus XXV:35}- Maimonides, Mishneh Torah כִּי לֹא-יֶחְדַּל אֶבְיוֹן, מִקֶּרֶב הָאָרֶץ; עַל-כֵּן אָנֹכִי מְצַוְּךָ, לֵאמֹר, פָּתֹחַ תִּפְתַּח אֶת-יָדְךָ לְאָחִיךָ לַעֲנִיֶּךָ וּלְאֶבְיֹנְךָ, בְּאַרְצֶךָ For the poor shall never cease out of the land; therefore I command thee, saying: 'Thou shalt surely open thy hand unto thy poor and needy brother, in thy land. -Deuteronomy 15:11

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MORE FROM FACEBOOK

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Arielle and Christine outside the office

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A play Arielle's friend was in at a camel festival she went to

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An outreach program- Arielle demostrated at a polytechnic

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The day Obama won- Kenyans were very proud because Pres. Obama's father was from Kenya

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First event that DUMA matched guys to, from The Daily Nation (big newspaper) for a roadshow. They travel around on big buses and blast loud music and talk loudly into a microphone about their product. The Daily Nation needed 3 bouncers.

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Lessons Learned, in Arielle's Words "Don't have any preconceived notions about how someone might view something. In this country, EVERYTHING is different. Which means everyone has different associations to every object. For example- garlic- for me, I think cooking spice, for people here, it is cooking spice and remedial herbal medicine). Also one more (can't resist) - believe in yourself. Like I said before, the motto is "It will work" when I say "I'll try," I usually get a reprimand...it is very heartening, actually, people in America could learn a thing or two."

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